KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Sure, lakes are plentiful in Missouri and Kansas, but everyone knows they don't compare to the ocean.
The Kansas City Zoo is working to bring a piece of the ocean to its landlocked visitors.
The zoo has already begun work on a new $75 million aquarium, the single largest project in its 112-year history.
Kansas City Zoo officials formally kicked off the project Monday to "Make Waves KC." The project was approved last November.
The KC Zoo aquarium has been designed to make visitors feel as if they're immersed in the ocean's six zones through 30 exhibits, from the darkest depths with sharks to less ominous shores where sea otters play.
KC Zoo officials estimate the new aquarium, with its thousands of marine animals, will increase attendance at the zoo by about 300,000 people annually.
The zoo has about $5.5 million left to raise to fund the aquarium. The zoological districts of Jackson and Clay counties as well as private donors contributed to the nearly $70 million already raised.
The aquarium is expected to open in mid 2023.